To mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court case Wisconsin v. Yoder, I created a video version of the audio of the actual Wisconsin v. Yoder hearing that took place on December 8, 1971. This 1-hour hearing led to the decision that took place on May 15, 1972. There were no other hearings for this monumental case that decided the fate of Amish children’s education. 

In another post, I’ll share more about my thoughts on this hearing. For now, I hope you listen to it and that it brings up the appropriate emotions of shock, anger, speechlessness, etc.

As I’ve been emphasizing for years, this case is not an Amish-centric case. By that I mean that the decision affects all Americans, not just Amish. This case is routinely dismissed in law schools and elsewhere as applying only to the Amish and not being relevant to anyone who’s not Amish. That’s completely false, because . . .

. . . this ruling serves as a precedent that any other individual or group of people can use to have the same exemptions applied to themselves or their children. Any parent/guardian can point to Yoder to claim the right to also deny their child an education past the 8th grade.

I’ll also share the transcript of this audio in a future post, or series of posts, as part of content leading up to this May.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions after you’ve listened to the audio. The best way to get a direct response from me is by joining the Amish Insider email list. You can then simply reply to any email you get from me or the Amish Heritage Foundation. Sometimes I reply directly to your email and other times I reply in the form of a Zoom talk or Q&A session.

Last but not least, if you or someone you know would like a presentation or talk on Wisconsin v. Yoder, please reach out. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to share about this case and the Amish Heritage Foundation’s work. The more people we can reach, the better our chances of making education past the 8th grade a right for Amish children and adults, and making education a federal right for US citizens. Thank you!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

“To education and children’s rights”

— Torah Bontrager, Executive Director, Amish Heritage Foundation –

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